Nahajec, Lisa Margaret (2012) Evoking the Possibility of Presence:Textual and Ideological Effects of Linguistic Negation in Written Discourse. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This thesis explores the textual and ideological effects of linguistic negation in written texts. It argues that when language users process negation, understanding its use in context is as much about the possibility of presence as it is about the actuality of absence. This gives rise to a variety of effects in texts from contributing to the construction of fictional characters to potentially influencing readers’/hearers’ view of the world they inhabit. This thesis brings together research on the theoretical aspects of how negation works to present a new approach to linguistic negation in written discourse. It also demonstrates how this approach can be applied in the analysis of the conceptual practice of negating. The approach presented is made up of three main elements; negation is presuppositional, is realised through a wide variety of linguistic forms beyond the morphosyntactic core forms (not, no, never, none, un-, in-, and so on) and includes semantic and pragmatically implied forms. These two elements combine to give rise to implied meaning in context. Having outlined this approach to negation, it is then applied in the analysis of literary and non-literary texts to explain the textual and ideological effects that arise from its use.

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